Barcelona ‘refusing to activate Lautaro Martinez’s £100m Inter Milan transfer release clause’ and demand cheaper deal

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BARCELONA are keen to land a deal to sign Laurato Martinez but will not fork out his £100million release clause, according to reports.

The Catalan giants are in the market for a new striker this summer as a long-term replacement for 33-year-old Luis Suarez.

Inter Milan ace and Lionel Messi’s international compatriot Martinez has been identified as the ideal man to lead the line for years to come.

The 22-year-old has scored 12 league goals in 27 appearances for Antonio Conte’s side and a further five Champions League goals in six games.

According to Goal, Barcelona have been told they have until July 15 to stump up his buyout clause when it expires.

But they are not prepared to pay that figure having been forced to tighten the pursestrings over the coronavirus pandemic.

It will not stop their pursuit of the forward and are happy to call Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio’s bluff by waiting before negotiating a deal.

Ausilio had said: “The reality of the situation with Martinez is that there’s only one path to take him away from Inter and that is to pay the release clause.

“It’s a clause everyone knows about, there’s no point hiding. It is a difficult clause because it has certain deadlines and some very precise demands.”

Barcelona need to balance the books before landing big-money targets with up to seven players up for grabs.

Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Nelson Semedo, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic have been told they are free to leave.

Midfielder Arthur has already joined Juventus in a £65m deal.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu remained tight-lipped when he was quizzed on Martinez by telling RAC1: “I am not talking about transfers.

“We have not marked the signings in the calendar for when they should be completed.”

Barcelona believe that Martinez’s value could drop especially if the player tells Inter chiefs that he wants out.

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